Life, writing, submissions go on


I have been trying to write fiction again these days–a quiet endeavor, but something I’ve been doing, all the same. The going’s tough and the terrain’s all new, so it feels like picking up a new sport and exercising different muscles (btw, I’m not very athletic). It’s a very odd feeling, to do something I’ve been doing my whole life but finding it an entirely new experience all the same. And to still feel a deep desire to write, despite the hardship.

The way I’m approaching my writing is to figure out what my new strengths might be, post-stroke and in the midst of life events that have opened the door to great feeling. I know I’ve got to have new found strengths. And I’m really really trying hard NOT to see what my deficits are these days (boy oh boy, do I have some writing deficits these days). The curiosity is exciting: what will my writing become?

But it’s a bit discouraging to write and struggle on without knowing my new strengths (part of “leveraging strengths implies KNOWING strengths”), so I honestly don’t spend hours writing each day. Why torture myself? Maybe I ought to.

In this fashion, I’ve written about three hundred words of a new short story. Yes, that is a pitiful amount of writing.

I once said that I write to live, and so I find a great inspiration in putting words down these days. Somehow, writing the pain and sadness and triumphs down give them an even greater meaning, give ME an even greater meaning in the realm of things.

Still, I struggle onward, in great belief.

And when I find myself stalled, I send out some of the stories I wrote before the stroke to various journals. It’s a weird thing to do look at writing from that time period. Can I do it again? Will I write like this? How odd to send the work out. Is it still a representation of who I am?

But what the hell–I print the story out, write the address, and stick some stamps on the envelope.  Then I open the mailbox and slide the heavy envelope in.  Because I have to keep going.  I have to keep believing.



Filed under Life, The Stroke, Writing

7 responses to “Life, writing, submissions go on

  1. mel

    yes, please keep believing!

  2. Of course you will do it again! Sooner than you think, I bet. Just give yourself a little time to heal …

  3. Be patient! It really hasn’t been so long since the stroke, and then the death– these things take years, and I think its good to find new strengths, because all things change us and we can’t ever go back to where we’ve been, we can only do our best to move on. This is how you grow from a pruning. Maybe you can’t write like you used to (though I suspect you might be criticizing yourself more harshly than you deserve) but that doesn’t mean you can’t write beautifully and powerfully still.

  4. You are writing beautifully and powerfully still, believe me.

  5. Your writing is so compelling. And I think your process may help others – like me, for instance. The strategies you use now to deal with your injury, and the ways you approach writing, may help others overcome their own issues with ADD or other compositional problems.

    You could teach what you have learned.

    Also, blogging your writing process here inspires more than you can imagine. Thank you.

  6. This is great! Glad to see you submitting your work again.

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